Petr Yan believes Henry Cejudo took a look at the cream of the crop at 135 pounds and ran for the hills.
Yan is looking to capitalize on an opportunity presented following Cejudo’s retirement. He will be fighting for the vacant UFC bantamweight championship on July 11. He’ll share the Octagon with former featherweight ruler Jose Aldo on the main card of UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Petr Yan Thinks Henry Cejudo Ran From Legit Title Contenders
Yan spoke to reporters during a media scrum ahead of UFC 251. He wasn’t shy in sharing his belief that Cejudo retired because he lacked confidence in his abilities to thwart the top contenders at bantamweight (via MMAJunkie).
“My goal is always to win the belt – not to defeat Cejudo,” Yan told reporters, including MMA Junkie, through an interpreter during a media scrum. “Cejudo ran away. It was his choice. If he (was) confident he was going to defeat all of these contenders, he would’ve stayed. I don’t know why he ran away. Maybe he’s not confident in himself. Maybe he found a third girlfriend like he said. But I’m going to fight for the belt.”
Cejudo has said that he could be lured into returning to the Octagon but not at bantamweight. “Triple C” wants a hefty payday and a crack at the UFC featherweight championship. While Yan isn’t fond of how Cejudo ditched the bantamweight division, he’ll have to turn his attention to Aldo on fight night.
Many believe it’s destiny for Yan to capture UFC gold but Aldo is hoping to heighten his legacy even further. If he emerges victorious over Yan, then he’ll be in an elite group of fighters who have captured UFC championships in two weight classes. Aldo already appears to be a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame and this feat would just add to his legendary resume.